Before Booker T became a two-time Hall of Famer and six-time World Champion, he struggled on his destiny. During his interview with Lilian Garcia on Chasing Glory this week, Booker T spoke up about his troubled past, including when he was sentenced for 19 months in prison due to robbery. Though many would find their time in prison as a low point in their lives, Booker T felt the opposite.
"The thing is, for me, I can honestly say it's probably the best thing that ever happened to me in my life that I ended up going to prison because I got a chance to literally just stop and rethink my whole life," Booker T openly admitted. "I had two years to rethink what my life was about, what I wanted my life to be. I always knew that I was not one of those kids that wanted to be in the corner in my same neighborhood for the rest of my life. I saw so many of those people. I can go to my neighborhood right now and I'll see somebody that I grew up with. I just knew I didn't want to be that person. I knew prison wasn't going to hold me back also. I knew that life had something better for me. I just didn't know what it was."
While in prison, Booker T recalls the best piece of advice another inmate told him, which helped motivate him to jumpstart his career once he was released.
"This one guy told me 'Youngblood when you get out of here, you can do anything you want to do. You act like it, 9 times out of 10, people will believe it.' When I got out, I took those words, and I took them to heart," Booker T recalled.
As Booker T left prison, he began building his reputation. While studying the art of pro wrestling, Booker T found himself enthralled with cutting promos and figuring out how he could take quotes or lyrics from popular movies and songs and make them his own.
"I was always a clown," Booker T jokingly admitted. "I think that's the key to being a really good wrestler is that you can believe in your own hype. You gotta be able to go out there and see if it sticks. I love music, and that helps me a lot. I've got so many sayings in my head that are just stuck there, and I can go back and pull out something... That's what wrestling is. You have to take little bits and pieces here and there, and you gotta know how to make it your own."
In addition to his discussion about promos, he also mentioned how he wished that wrestlers nowadays, specifically the Superstars in the WWE, could go back to writing their own promos. That way, their authenticity can not only shine in the ring but also on the microphone.
"It's a different world now as far as the scripted promos. I think it takes away a lot of the originality of the guy actually being able to put himself against the wall and have to go out there and get over, the guy to have to think about it, opposed to when you just have someone writing it for you," Booker T noted.
"You're not going to take the time like I did to go and look in the mirror and pretend I'm cutting a promo on myself. You're not going to do that. You're not going to go and look in the mirror and just ... Just to try to make your top lip move, to see how angry you can make yourself look. It's just small, little bitty things. You're not going to take the time to actually try to hone your craft, because you got someone handing it to you unless you're that driven."
You can view Booker T's full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chasing Glory- Lilian Garcia with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.